Apple today added two new webpages highlighting the specific iOS 7 improvements for business and education. This is the great stuff we learned about at WWDC but weren't allowed to mention. And here it is for you!
Managed open in
The "Open In" button really means "Make a copy," and can be a nightmare for data security. iOS 7 allows admins to restrict the apps that appear in the Open In panel. This allows you to construct a security wall between business apps and personal apps. It's kinda like the "dual personality" feature that some phones have, but with both personalities active at once. Big win!
Per app VPN
Apps can phone home through a VPN tunnel as soon as they are launched, and send all their network traffic (and only their network traffic) through it. This is controlled by the MDM admin, not the app developer. It's like that dual-personality again, but for network traffic.
App Store license management
Huge improvements for Apps Store licenses. First of all, you now purchase licenses not apps. Using a MDM server, businesses can assign those licenses to employee. The apps then simply show up in the employee's purchase history in the App Store. It couldn't be simpler. And on a supervised device enrolled in MDM, VPP apps can be pushed to the device without user interaction. The licenses can be revoked at any time and re-assigned to another employee. And VPP now works for iBooks too.
New MDM configuration options
MDM now supports fonts, accessibility options, AirPrint printers, and AirPlay screensharing.
Streamlined MDM enrollment
IT can now specify MDM enrollment at the time of purchase. This is a game changer, and we'll be discussing this more as we get closer to launch.
Enterprise single sign on
This is just cool. Users can authenticate once and the credentials will be shared among multiple apps and Safari. (Of course Apple's not so dumb to actually share your password among apps. Standard authentication tokens are used, backed by Kerberos.)
Locally cache apps, iBooks, etc.
Put the $20 Mac OS X Server on any old(ish) Mac and you can have your own caching server. This bandwidth savior will be a must for anywhere more than a dozen iOS users congregate.
- Third-party app data protection (i.e., encryption) is now turned on by default for all retail apps.
- Smart mailboxes in Main
- View PDF annotations
- Exchange 2010 note syncing
As you can see, the changes to iOS 7 are much more than skin deep.
Apple today updated Apple Configurator, it's unique Mac app for the development and assignment of iOS devices. The new version, 1.3, includes the following changes:
- Significantly improved reliability, scalability and performance
- A new status view that includes time estimates and error information with recovery suggestions
- Ability to cancel scheduled or in-progress operations
- Administrators can install apps on devices configured to not allow users to install apps
Configurator is free on the Mac App Store.
These are the current known bugs for beta 1 of the Apple ID Automation Builder. If you have encountered a bug not listed here, and are using beta 1, please reply to this thread!
- If the sidebar in iTunes 11 is activated, AIDAB crashes with an error. Workaround: hide sidebar (View > Hide Sidebar).
- AIDAB doesn't perform a sanity check on the version of iTunes. AIDAB only supports iTunes 11 (all release of iTunes 11 work as of Jun 15 2013)
- If the store hiccups and fails to load (presenting a dialog box) an AIDAB constructed process continues trying to create accounts, failing until the dialog box is manually cleared.
- If the first UI element to set on a new page is a pop-up button, AIDAB can sometimes try to set the pop-up button before the page finishes loading. Workaround: don't set pop-up buttons as the first UI element on a new page.
- Some as-of-yet unsolved issues relating to loading CSVs (still trying to replicate)
- Occasionally something in OS X related to AppleScript will hang up, and an AIDAB constructed process will crash instantly on launch. There seem to multiple causes for this. Sometimes a reboot will clear the issue. If you have encountered this bug, please go to applications > utilities > console, and report any messages that appear when launching your constructed process.
I was going to write a long post about iOS 7, which was announced today at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. But then I realized that Ryan Faas already wrote it for me.
It is difficult to add to Ryan's article. I mean, there is more to know, but at this point it is all under non-disclosure. But I am quite satisfied that Apple is listening to businesses and making changes. iOS 7 will have lots of improvements with enterprise in mind. It's even mentioned on Apple's site:
iOS 7 includes many new features designed to make it easier for businesses to put iOS devices in the hands of employees. Features such as better protection of work and personal data, management of app licenses, seamless enrollment in Mobile Device Management, wireless app configuration, enterprise single sign-on support, and default data protection for third-party apps.
We are looking forward to seeing much more in the fall.
I've been doing a ton of research and have even called Apple about this. What is the best way to do Apple IDs when deploying about 20 or so iPads? Our company does not need VPP and we already have a way to manage security and settings using Microsoft ActiveSync. We don't want to have the employees use their personal Apple IDs, but don't wish to tie a corporate credit card to the accounts. Is there a way to create IDs without having to add any kind of credit card?
Apple is kicking off it's Worldwide Developer Conference today in San Francisco, and you can join in. For only the second time in WWDC history, it is streaming live video of the keynote presentation, at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern.
Got an Apple TV? You can watch it there too, via a new channel that magically appeared overnight.
And if you are in San Francisco, please join us Wednesday night at the Tunnel Top!
When I'm in San Francisco there's nothing I like better than an great Enterprise iOS Meetup! It is like drinking a glass of cold beer after exile in the hot and barren dessert of traditional form-factor computers. And just in time to discuss the latest (non-N.D.A.) announcements coming out of Apple's World Wide Developer Conference.
Tunnel Top Bar
Wednesday, June 12 at 7:30 PM
601 Bush St, on top of the Stockton tunnel.
It's easy to get there. From the Apple Store walk up Stockton five blocks, then walk up the steps to Bush St. The Tunnel Top is a great dive bar, with two levels (we'll be on the upper) and a very lively crowd, even by S.F. standards. My employer Tekserve is graciously paying our tab. Grab a bite to eat before you come, because there ain't no food.
I hope to see you on Wednesday!
Since the launch of SimpleMDM, we have seen tremendous use of the service. From small businesses, to schools, to government agencies around the world, SimpleMDM has made iOS device management easy and accessible.
As a result, we have re-branded the product to better suit its capabilities. Although the solution remains powerfully "simple", we wanted a name that can grow beyond simple and we believe DeviceLink will do just that.
To announce the change, we published our first-ever press release. Below is an excerpt with a link to the full thing, and thank you for making DeviceLink such a hit!
Setting itself apart from other MDM offerings, DeviceLink provides unlimited device management with rapid enrollment at no cost. Customers only need a web browser and devices to manage to get started. An organization can literally begin managing devices in minutes – ideal for small businesses.
DeviceLink has been available in limited release for more than nine months as SimpleMDM with customers all over the world. Along with the official launch and based on customer feedback, DeviceLink will now support free and paid app distribution as well as volume purchase codes.
DeviceLink allows for management of bring your own device (BYOD) and company-owned devices, offering three levels of security within a single selection. DeviceLink provides support for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with device compliance detection, including passcode requirements, app whitelist/blacklist, as well as remote lock, wipe and password reset. For more information, visit UnwiredRevolution.com/DeviceLink.
Full Press Release: http://www.unwiredrevolution.com/news/
DeviceLink Webpage: http://www.unwiredrevolution.com/devicelink/
I've got an impossible request, but I'm interested if anybody has come across any information that may be helpful; trying the power of crowd sourcing.
iOS and iPad backups: has anybody come across there ANYTHING that provides an automatic backups of iOS/iPads to enterprise backup solutions ? And the it is very important that it is automatic; I can not rely on our customer's iPad users to be involved in the back up procedure.
- I know that there are back up solutions that have an iOS client on the iPad, but typically it requires a manual process for the end user to initate the back up procedure.
- I know that a mac can be set up to act as a back up option (over Wifi) but (typically) this does not 'connect' directly to most enterprise back up solutions (EMC, etc).
- I can think of ways to hook 'this-into-that' and 'bolt-that-on-to-this' but most of these options require ongoing support.
In a perfect world, (working with the options that Apple allow us) I would like a hardware (or VM appliance) that runs an iTunes service continuously for backup services ALONE. This device would connect to the Wifi environment and provide a continuous service to all iPads that connect on to the Wifi network. Each iPad back up would be unique by date/timestamp. And this solution would allow me to restore any back up to the source iPad.
(chirp chirp <- the sound of crickets over the deathly silence)
I was wondering whether it's possible to interact with Profile Manager in an automated way (i.e. as a RESTful web service) to do things such as delete a device (i.e. as part of a de-provisioning workflow, or even do an "Update Info" periodically).
I did a basic search but nothing seemed to jump out.
Hi enterprise iOS community,
Anybody out there using a multi-platform (Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Windows) management/MDM software? Meaning, one application is managing desktops, laptops and handheld mobile devices. If so, please tell me the good and the bad of your chosen management platform.
Thanks in advance,
Jack Madden has written a helpful history of enterprise management improvements in iOS.
"As we gear up for Apple's WWDC in June (with fingers' crossed that we'll get even more enterprise management features in iOS 7), I thought it would be good to take a look at just how far Apple has come over the years when it comes to improving the enterprise management aspects of iOS."
Although it isn't their marketing focus, enterprise iOS is a significant part of engineering. Every major release of iOS has included some features useful only for people like us.
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Comparison of MDM Providers
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